Covid-19: TN mulls genome sequencing lab


Tamil Nadu’s public health department has been planning to set up a genome sequencing laboratory in the state and the draft proposal regarding the same was already formulated at the public health laboratory.

The officials are expecting to set up the laboratory by the end of the month of June if the government clears the proposal.

Tamil Nadu health department in a statement said that with SARS- Cov 2 virus carry mutations that have a potential to offset the vaccine efficacy and hence the department wants to be on top of it and understand the pattern.

The genome sequencing lab is expected to cost Rs 2 crore while several institutions, according to the Public health department officials have facilities to sequence the genome, there is no dedicated laboratory solely meant for the purpose.

The public lab officials said that the lab will help them track the variants of vector-borne diseases and on superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics.

State health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan told IANS,” Changes in the genetic structure of the virus could turn out to be dangerous and we want to understand the pattern and control it. However, this may not immediately affect treatment protocols or prevention strategies.

The genome sequence lab will provide us information about the pattern of transmission and on how the virus has evolved. This will help researchers find methods for rapid diagnosis and develop medicines to treat it.”